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FIR against MLA: Cong stages protest

By: ML Verma

Shimla: Congress legislators today staged a protest in the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha against registration of an FIR against its Subhash Chand Manglate, MLA from Chopal, acting on recent complaint made by SDM Chopal, Ramesh Thakur.

Opposition leader Vidya Stokes raised the matter when the Assembly commenced in the morning for Question Hour, demanded immediate discussion on the matter. She alleged that since the member had been demanding privilege motion against the SDM earlier, the FIR seemed to counter the move of the member. She said that the matter was related to the prestige of honorable member of the august House, and therefore the FIR should be immediately withdrawn and the House should also accept the MLA’s notice of privilege motion against the SDM.

Giving his ruling over the opposition’s demand, Vidhan Sabha speaker Tulsi Ram maintained that the matter would be discussed after the Question Hour. Ignoring the ruling of the Chair, the entire opposition trouped into the well of the House, shouting slogan against registration of FIR against the MLA. The speaker continued the proceedings of the Question Hour amid noisy scenes in the house, which concluded within 45 minutes instead of the one-hour duration.

The opposition continued its protest after the Question Hour despite speaker calling Vidya Stokes to speak on her call attention motion. The House also discussed some important business shortly and later the speaker adjourned the House for the day.
Interacting with media person outside the House, Chief Minster Prem Kumar Dhumal criticized the opposition terming the protest as a move to escape from important business.
He said that the state government would continue the police inquiry against the Congress MLA despite opposition protest in the Assembly. He also said that the speaker is free to allow debate on privilege motion brought by MLA Subhash Manglate.

The Chief Minister said the Chopal SDM had written to SSP Shimla on March 5, 2010, that the MLA had threatened him with dire consequences over the telephone. Dhumal said the government was bound to hear the allegations lodged by both the officer as well as and MLA. Criticizing the opposition for create noisy scene in the House, the Chief Minister reminded that it was than Congress rule when BJP MLA Harinarayan Singh was booked similarly for damaging the Vidhan Sabha gate.

Speaking with media person, Vidya Stokes said that filing of an FIR against Subhash Manglate is part of a bureaucratic and political conspiracy. She threaten that all 23 party MLAs would give forced arrest if the MLA was arrested. She pointed out that another FIR was registered against Congress MLA Rakesh Kalia for burning the effigy of Chief Minister recently. She claimed that the previous Congress government was not responsible for filing an FIR against BJP MLA Hari Narayan Singh as it was filed on behalf of Vidhan Sabha.

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